INTERNATIONAL - Consumer goods group Unilever reported stronger than expected quarterly underlying sales growth, helped by higher prices and volume, and strength in emerging markets.
The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream also on Thursday stood by its outlook for the full year, which calls for underlying sales growth in the lower half of a 3 to 5 percent range.
Rival Nestle also reported better-than-expected first-quarter sales on Thursday.
Following its first quarter under new chief executive Alan Jope, Anglo-Dutch Unilever also stood by its 2020 target for an underlying operating margin of 20 percent, set by Jope’s predecessor Paul Polman in the wake of 2017’s rebuffed $143 billion takeover offer by Kraft Heinz .
Unilever’s underlying operating margin was 18.4 percent in 2018.